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Polysemy and context

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  1. Interaction of Dictionary And Contextual Logical Meaning
  2. REALIZATION OF CONTEXTUAL MEANINGS OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
  3. REALIZATION OF CONTEXTUAL MEANINGS OF THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE
  4. RENDERING OF THE CONTEXTUAL MEANINGS OF THE DEFINITE AND INDEFINITE ARTICLES

The term context denotes the minimal stretch of speech determining each individual meaning of the word. Contexts can be two types: linguistic (verbal) and extra-linguistic (non-verbal).Linguistic context may be subdivided into lexical and grammatical. In lexical contexts of primary importance are the groups of lexical items combined with the polysemantic word under consideration. This can be illustrated by the results of the analysis of different lexical contexts in which a polysemantic word is used. For example, the adjective “heavy” used with the word load, table means of great weight. When combined with the words denoting natural phenomena such as rain, storm, wind, snow means abundant, striking, falling with force. If use with the words industry, artillery and arms heavy meaning the largest kind of something. It can be easily observed that the main factor in bringing out the individual meaning of the adjective heavy is the lexical meaning of the words with which this adjective is combined. Thus, the meaning of heavy may be analyzed through its colocability with the words table, snow, industry. The meaning at the level of lexical context is sometimes described as meaning by collocation. In grammatical contexts it is the grammatical or syntactic structure of the context that serves to determine various individual meanings of a polysemantic word. The meaning of the word to make - to force, to induce is found only in the grammatical context possessing the syntactic structure. To make + person + word (to make smb laugh). Another meaning of the word to make – to become is observed in the context of a different syntactic structure. To make + adjective + noun (to make a good wife, to make a good teacher). Such meanings are sometimes called or describes as grammatically bound meanings. There are cases when the meaning of a word is ultimately determined by the actual speech situation in which the word is used by the extra linguistic context or context of situation. In the sentence The bill is large the word bill is clearly ambiguous as it has two readings resulting of the two meanings of the word bill. This sentence can be disambiguated if it is extended with “the bill is large, but need not be paid. “ this extension is possible with only one of the meanings of the word bill.



Lexical & terminological sets:

-- Words denoting different things correlated on extralinguistic grounds form lexical sets :lion, tiger, leopard, puma, cat refer to the lexical set of 'the animals of the cat family'.

-- Depending on the type of the notional area lexical sets may acquire a more specialized character, e.g. names of 'musical instruments': piano, organ, violin, drum; names of 'parts of the car mechanism': radiator, motor, handbrake, wheels. Such classes of words are called terminological sets

 


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